Preparing… to go.

by Joanna D.

I decided to start getting rid of a few things. So much crap I have been packing around with me for the majority of my life. A good portion being stuff that really didn’t matter much to me at all. Boring things like financial records and such. Sure, interesting to a degree but not necessary and certainly a bit of a weight. Then there was another set of stuff. Journals, letters, pictures. One box. Holding the hopes and dreams of a person I no longer identified with. I wanted to let her go so I decided to burn it all; from bank statements to the words of a longing dreamer.

I figured by burning them I would feel less like her, this person I decided I didn’t want to be anymore. As the boxes emptied, I found receipts from most every milestone in my life. Car payments for the old Honda, hospital bills from check-ups to car accidents, vacations, moving to and from New Mexico, pay stubs from Murphy’s pizza in Ronan, Montana and well, a majority of things I had experienced in my life. It was interesting and even a bit nostalgic. Then the letters. The journals.

Glancing at the words, I saw her, a version of me. So much sadness, a longing dreamer. And as I flipped through my past and tossed the pages, pictures and letters into the flames, I realized something, she wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t that bad. That there was also a lot of love, creativity, hopes and dreams. I still have dreams. Always have hopes and dreams. Keeping that part of me alive while trying something new… cultivating compassion for my past and my present.

It was intense. Sitting there in front of the fire, so close to the flames. Beads of sweat rolled down my cheeks. So hot. Ultimately it felt good. Burning things I had held on to for so long. To know that I didn’t need to carry all that with me anymore. Physically or psychologically. That my past didn’t have to define me as I am today. Those memories, those pieces of me were given space, recognized and honored. Not forgotten.

And so, currently I sit in this seemingly new place. Planning. Preparing. Yet it’s as if it has been sitting inside of me my whole life. My true self has been knocking at the door of this existence the entire time. Waiting. And although I don’t know where it’s all going to take me or even who that true self really is, in the end… I’m ready.